One thing that I found interesting (and difficult) about going through the query process was finding comp titles. I have a fairly unique POV structure in this one and that made it a little difficult to find books that could sum up the vibe and story.
After lots of searching, reading and even watching, I went against the grain and ended up with an older Stephen King title - The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon as a mood and setting a tone for my protagonist Laura.
Laura flees to the forest where she has to battle her mental state as much as anything else. I loved TGWLTG and how mysterious it all was; her hallucinations, the reality of the bear, and how her mental state was always changing. Some of her struggles are those that my Laura faces, the brutal reality of being lost in the forest, and I hope readers will enjoy the same things in my story.
On the flip side, I had to figure out how to spotlight my antagonist—Jared is totally deluded and it’s hard to be sure just how dangerous he is. Laura knows, and the reader will soon find out, but on the outside he’s Mr. Nice Guy (TM) this comp was easy to pull, I had binged season one of YOU recently and ran to the library to grab a copy of the book. Joe and Jared could be great friends—as long as their interests never overlapped. That is one dog-fight I’d like to see. Joe would probably win, especially now that I’ve seen him in full action further into his series (which remains a favorite). Jared’s still working the kinks out of his style.
I also played with using The Forest (2016 film) as the vibe and creep-factor was perfect for the setting and the locations connection to suicides fit well with Laura’s plan. I, more or less, enjoyed the movie when it first came out for certain moments, but know that mine is not the popular opinion, so I opted to leave it off my official list.
The “YOU meets The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon” felt both fresh and at the same time safe. It draws a good image, for me at least, and seemed to hook interest in my query as well. I hope that this gives you a hint of insight into According to Plan and that you stay on the lookout for the release date!
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